Wednesday, 18 August 2010

She Came From the Sea

I wasn’t sure what to expect with Ondine. The original story is something of a legend, but this is not an adaptation of that. The word Ondine is French, it means “she came from the sea” (more here). There a number of excellent literary pieces on it… Ondine is derivative, in theory.
Syracuse is a fisherman and one day he brings a woman up in his castanet. She calls herself Ondine, and his young paraplegic daughter believes she’s a mermaid. Is she? I’m not sure if Jordan intends it to be emotionally manipulative, or if the intent of the story is to be an “is she, isn’t she”. Ondine works best when it has as little plot going on as possible and just lets Farrell, Alicja Bachleda and Alison Barry act. It’s particularly remote at times, but I’m drawn to it. The peaceable nature shifts midway, coming to a climax that feels calculating and even unrealistic. It’s not that the ending feels too pat, it is but it’s sweet in its own misguided way, but Jordan seems at a loss to explain the appearance of this mystery woman and the payoff seems lesser than the performance Bachleda is given. She’s stodgy at times, but mostly her reluctant charm works excellently. Her devotion to ’s daughter is palpable and Barry’s Annie is a surprise. Sometimes she is just a little too precocious for my fancy, but altogether more charming that I anticipated.
Ultimately, Ondine comes down to Collin Farrell. I’m a big fan of the guy, and I’m so hoping he knocks it out of the park with The Way Back and London Boulevard. I wouldn’t call him excellent here, but he’s as good as anyone can. The role created for him is just TOO thin at times, but Farrell is talented and ultimately I buy it. Ondine has the best of intentions, a modern-day-fairytale at its best (or worst). Farrell is keeps it all afloat, but he’s well backed by the women of the cast. Dirvla Kirwan does a good job with a stock role of the ex-wife. A certain confession at sea with ashes plays out better than it should. I wish it could have been more, but it’s a fair effort.
     
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2 comments:

rtm said...

Oh man, I've been wanting to see this for so long but it won't be available on Netflix until September!

I'm just ok about Colin, he's good in some things but not always. But the story is a curious one and appeals to me for some reason. Surely these two have amazing chemistry as they're a couple in real life because of this movie.

I am intrigued by London Boulevard as well.

Andrew: Encore Entertainment said...

There chemistry IS sizzling. It's nice in a cutesy way, Farrell I think is great...it just could have been more. I too look forward to London Boulevard and The Way Back.